Disorganization has many root causes, but some elements can aggravate a chaotic environment, compounding the problem. Addressing these elements can make our environment much more manageable.
1. Too much stuff
We can’t organize clutter. That’s a fact. Things accumulate over time if we do not keep a close eye on what we purchase or even what we have had for years. Things that once served us well might no longer be relevant in our lives. We need to make room for what we truly need and want by eliminating what no longer has a place in our lives.
Ongoing purging what we no longer need and want should become a lifestyle rather than a once-a-year activity. Things will continuously enter our space. If we do not get in the habit of eliminating what no longer serves us, we end up with an unmanageable accumulation of stuff.
2. Improper use of the space
Holding on to things that we do not want or need is just part of the problem. The inefficient use of the space available is another.
Thinking in terms of categories and placing similar things together forces you to assign a specific space to each type of thing, so everything in your home has a place where it belongs. You will always know where to go when you need that item and where to return it.
When things do not have an assigned home, they get everywhere. And when anything can go anywhere, then everything will go everywhere.
Your disorganized belongings occupy three or four times the space they should.
Suppose you used the space appropriately, thinking about item categories and assigning each category type a unique and logical place. In that case, you’d recover space you had no idea you had.
3. Lack of proper tools
The purchasing of containers or organizing systems should happen after purging what we do not want or need anymore.
Buying these items beforehand is a waste of time. It might even compound the clutter problem. Getting these solutions without first knowing what they are for or where they go results in incorrect items for the purpose or space intended.
Storage solutions and containers purchased beforehand may become circumstantial band-aids to our organizing project at best. As such, they will perform a mediocre job. At worst, purchasing these items negates buying the right tools for the job. Then these end up cluttering our home.
4. Broken things
Broken things can be structural barriers to organizing. These are items or systems that have stopped working as intended and, as a result of being neglected, cause further disorganization around them.
The dresser with the broken drawer that no longer opens causes its contents to be scattered around the room because it has no other place to go.
The closet rod that fell caused you to install a rolling laundry solution in the middle of your bedroom, and you trip on it every day when walking by (not to mention how it looks!).
That shelf inside the cabinet that fell off caused you to start shoving the cabinet’s contents inside without any rhyme or reason. The broken shelf means the contents can no longer be divided or organized.
We live life at a fast pace. That causes us to ignore many details of our environment. Those details accumulate over time and result in a dysfunctional environment that stresses our minds and bodies. Often we do not even realize how it happened – we feel the mess at some point.
These details do matter. Take time to fix these minor problems the moment they happen. It would be more time-consuming and costly to let them go and deal with the consequences later.
Many elements can become roadblocks to an organized life. But if we could keep up with these four factors that feed disorganization, we would be better shaped to bring the organization back into our lives.